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Demand for Hunting Dogs Is Sending Prices Upward

Written by aslmad.yaz

(Picture Credit: Robb Reece / Getty Images)

Increasing demand for purebred hunting dogs has sent prices soaring, according to one breeder.

Dakota News Now spoke to John Luttrell, owner of Luttrell Kennels in Clark, South Dakota, about the sudden uptick in prices. According to Luttrell—who’s bred and raised hunting dogs for over 27 years—prices have been generally going up for a while. “We’re getting up into the $1,000 to $2,000 range for a high-quality puppy. Some of the more [sic] smaller breeds that are a little bit more rare, you’re going to even pay more than that,” said Luttrell.

What is Raising the Prices for Hunting Dogs?

Interestingly, Luttrell says that advancements in science have affected his prices. Specifically, breeding science allows Luttrell to develop healthier puppies with more desirable traits. To that end, Luttrell says, “The genetic tests that are available now, it’s crazy how many different diseases we can eliminate by doing genetic tests and breeding smart.”

Of course, Luttrell also says the pandemic increased the demand for puppies. As you may already know, the increased number of people working from home during lockdown suddenly had the time to care for a new furry companion. And while that situation has changed for the worse, currently Luttrell says he can still fetch between $1,000 to $2,000 for a high-quality puppy. “During COVID, the demand was so high, even lower-quality puppies were getting that kind of money,” he says.

Additionally, just as inflation is affecting all of us, it’s also hitting Luttrell’s business. Between dog food, insurance, and diesel fuel, Luttrell had to raise prices for training services, as well as breeding.

Regardless, hunting season is a huge driver for South Dakota tourism. As such, Luttrell says even with higher prices, demand is still high. ”Demand is certainly up. We’ve been full further out than we’ve ever been before for the last three years,” he says.

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